Reasonable Compensation Planning Season Part II: Profitable Schedule C Filers, LLC’s & Partnerships

Tax PlanningBy Paul S. Hamann & Jack Salewski, CPA, CGMA

Planning Season is a good time to sit down with your profitable Schedule C, LLC’s & Partnerships to discuss the potential tax savings of changing to an S Corp.  Shareholder-employees of S Corps only pay employment taxes on their Reasonable Compensation versus Sole Proprietors, LLC’s and Partnerships that pay employment taxes on all profits.

When businesses start off small, choosing Sole Proprietor, LLC, or a Partnership makes sense.  However, when businesses grow up, it often makes sense to change to another entity type.  Making the change to an S Corp can happen at any time of the year, but timing the switch at year-end simplifies life for you and your clients.  Your client will start off 2016 with a new entity.  No need to file two separate entity returns.  Bank accounts can be closed and opened to coincide with the switch.  Distractions through the rest of the year will be minimized.

Case Study: Stone Concrete – Why an S Corp Might Be the Better Choice:  

Consider the case of Scott Stone, the founder of Stone Concrete, which provides concrete flat work to residential customers, such as concrete patios, driveways and sidewalks.  When Scott started his business ten years ago, he was leaving a position with another concrete company and striking out on his own.  Because he wanted to minimize startup costs, paperwork and compliance complications, an LLC was a good choice back then.

In Scott’s first full year in business, Stone Concrete eked out a small profit of $35,000 on $85,000 in revenue and Scott did it all – sales, pouring concrete, keeping books.  Ten years later Stone Concrete has a profit of $225,000 on revenues of $1.2 million and employs eight people.

The key variable in Scott’s decision to change from LLC to S Corp will be his Reasonable Compensation figure.  It is very important to use an accurate number at this stage.  Going unreasonably low will set an unrealistic tax savings and going too high will minimize the potential tax savings.  Running a Reasonable Compensation Report shows that a good estimate of the value of services Scott provides to Stone Concrete, based on the responsibilities and the duties Scott performs annually = $70,620

Putting together a simple spreadsheet to illustrate the savings to Scott is a great way to show him how making the switch saves him money, and makes you look like a tax planning rock star.

Sample Comparison Schedule C S Corporation
Total Profit $225,000 $225,000
Wages $225,000 $70,620
FICA (12.4% on $118,500) $14,694 $8,757
Medicare Surtax (0.9% Over $200,0000) $6,525 $2,048
State Unemployment Tax $0.00 $300
Corporate Tax Preparation $0.00 $900
Sum Payroll Taxes and Additional Tax Preparation Fee $21,444 $12,005

Savings: $9,439
Conclusion: Incorporate and elect S status

Additional consulting opportunities usually bubble to the surface at this time.  Because determining Reasonable Compensation includes a thorough accounting of all the services a small business owner provides, it’s a prime time, as a Trusted Advisor, to discuss the best use of time and resources, followed by an opportunity for you to offer additional services such as part-time CFO/CEO, strategic planning, payroll and bookkeeping services.

If you have not used RCReports yet to generate Reasonable Compensation Reports for your small business clients and would like to see how a Reasonable Compensation Report is built (takes 15-20 minutes) and other key features of RCReports software, please join us for a demonstration of RCReports and earn 1.5 CPE. (Click here to see dates & times)

NewOption to Share or Withhold interview results from Clients now live

Denver/Colorado/October 26, 2015

RCReports released a new Premium feature that allows Tax and Financial advisors the option to share or withhold report results following the completion of their clients on-line interview.

“The new feature allows our Premium Subscribers the option for ‘when’ and ‘how’ to share the report results with their clients” stated Paul S. Hamann, President of RCReports, Inc. “The new feature was added, based on what our users told us they would like to have.  To that end, we are continually working to improve RCReports and make it an even more valuable and efficient tool for our Users.”

Storm ChaserStorm Chaser

Investigate atmospheric phenomena and… never mind drive faster!!  This month we highlight what brave intrepid Storm Chasers (not Storm Troopers) make across the country.

What Storm Chasers make around the country:

  • Daytona Beach, FL ~ Proficiency Low – $17.34/hour
  • Cedar Rapids, IA ~ Below Average – $32.90/hour*
  • Biloxi, MS ~ Proficiency Average – $37.86/hour*
  • Tulsa, OK ~ Above Average – $44.85/hour
  • Dallas TX, ~ Proficiency High – $56.60/hour

~Each month we highlight an occupation from the more than 800 occupations included within the RCReports proprietary database of wages~*Wage only available from RCReports*